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Internet Detective teaches research skills

December 16, 2009

Internet Detective is a free, informal online course designed to help college students develop critical thinking skills needed to conduct Internet research. Developed in the UK, it offers practical advice on evaluating websites and selecting online information sources. The tutorial follows a light-hearted film noir detective metaphor and its five sections take about an hour to complete.

I ran across this tutorial when I was looking into hoaxes for the Onion-powered iPod post. The site is attractively designed and presented, and it features a lot of wel-researched information. Some of the lingo won’t translate well for students in the USA, including words like “tutor” for instructor, but that should not present a huge barrier.

I am not a big fan of the page-turning model followed by Internet Detective, but overall it seems pedagogically well designed. It is clear that a great deal of effort went into researching and revising the content. The current edition launched in 2006, but two previous versions take the site back to 1998. I recommend taking a look for yourself!

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